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How young is too young? What is your policy when it comes to putting enhancements on teens?

December 29, 2010

What is your policy when it comes to putting enhancements on teens?

Answer

We do many teens’ nails. First I find out if they are going to keep them or if they’re for a special occasion like a prom. If the nails are temporary, we just apply a thin coat of acrylic or tips and glue. If they want them for a while, we tell them never to pull them off and to come soak them when they want to take them off. We charge them only $25 for a full set instead of $50, and $15 rather than $26 for fills. We have only done a few sets on girls under 15 — with parental permission — but I try to talk them out of it. - FAITH GLIONNA, Cuticles Salon, Indialantic, Fla.

I won’t do nails on anyone under 14 unless it’s polish. And anyone under 18 must have a parent’s signature. - PAM SMITH, Nails at Last, Left Hand, W.Va.

When I can talk a teen out of enhancements I feel very good about it. In our area teens usually are only wanting them for special occasions and are not intending to continue the upkeep. Most in our area would not be able to afford the fills. When they do receive enhancements I give them an informative flier I made explaining the care and problems that might occur with enhancements. I try to talk most into a natural manicure and explain that I can do most any art to jazz up their nails. This has made many mothers very happy. - DEBBIE WILSON, Simply Debbie’s Nails, Cave Junction, Ore.

I won’t put any enhancements on teens until they’re 15 — even if Mom says it’s OK. Kids don’t know how to properly take care of the nails, nor do they respect them. When an adult breaks a nail or has an accident with a nail, it hurts, throbs, and sometimes causes sleepless nights. Imagine the pain for a kid! For girls 15 and older, I explain to them how to care for their nails at home and not to use them as tools. - PATTY LOPEZ, Studio 24, Parral, Mexico

Most of the teens I service come to see me because their moms are clients of mine. For anyone under 18 who should wander in on her own, I do request a phone number to contact their parent before I begin the service (yes, a few have run off). If a girl over 15 insists on acrylic or gel enhancements, I do everything I can to educate her on care and upkeep and the dangers of non-standard salon practices — as I do with most of my adult clients. I usually do not recommend enhancements for anyone under 15. I may suggest a series of manicures, or, depending on the nails, use a thin soakable gel like Young Nails’ Mani-Q to get their growth started. - ADRIENNE SCHODTLER, Nails by Adrienne, Cary, N.C.

When I have a teen client, I always do a consultation with her explaining all her options for achieving pretty nails and evaluating the condition of her nails. I let her know enhancements are not her only option. I ask if she is doing this for a one-time event and explain that enhancements require a maintenance schedule in order to keep them looking great. I also find out if she is in sports and how the enhancements may or may not affect her game. If she is really young, I will ask the parent to sign a waiver and at that time explain the dangers of infection or damage to the natural nails if the enhancements are not properly maintained. I will never forget a parent who thanked me for taking the time to explain some of the possible dangers of her daughter wearing enhancements. She signed the waiver knowing I was thinking of her daughter and not just making another sale. - DEBBIE BREW, Jenniffer & Co., Mentor, Ohio

How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

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What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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